Synergy: Why Market Research and Branding are Best Buddies
1. Person with an investigative and analytic attitude to work.
2. Fact-finder and data collector.
3. Nosey so-and-so with an unhealthy obsession with statistics.
1. Supervisor of product or company image.
2. Creative individual with a good understanding of public perception.
Two very different characters, right?
Maybe so, but this is definitely a good thing for our industry. Opposites attract, as they say.Two very different characters, right?
Market Research and Branding are two of the most vital aspects of any successful business and it is important to understand why they are most effective when used together.
What you need to know
Creating and maintaining the perfect brand can be a difficult and complex process. Whether it’s the launch of new product or the revamp of a company’s outdated image, it requires careful planning, thorough understanding of the marketplace and a strong idea of what needs to be achieved. This is where Market Research can make things a whole lot easier.
Who is going to buy from your brand and where are you going to find this information from? It is essential that you ask these questions, not just of yourself but of your customers, gathering relevant and thorough responses. A simple and effective way to do this is to employ quantitative methods. An online survey, for example, can obtain a set of measurable and digestible responses from a sample of your target audience. It can find out what percentage of your potential consumers are regularly purchasing rival products, where they are making their purchases, what they like about these products and, maybe more importantly, what they dislike about them. It can show what percentage of people are able to distinguish your logo from the rest, how many of your services they can name or whether or not they can recite, what your marketing team believes is your “wonderfully unique” slogan.
What do I do with my MR?
It’s simple, wait for the responses and adjust your strategy accordingly. Who knows what the research might find? 35% of the sample state that they want a more eco-friendly option? Make sure plenty of attention is drawn to your new recycling initiative. The most common term associated with your product category is “luxury”? Check that this word is clearly featured throughout your campaign. Insight like this may seem like minor details at the time but their importance really shouldn't be taken for granted.
Need something more?
For some brands, figures and percentages may not be enough. So don’t forget the use of qualitative techniques! To generate discussion, share opinions and “chat” with your consumers, a focus group may be a useful option. To gain useful holistic insight from the group, this method can help discover the most common attitudes and perceptions towards your brand whilst generating fresh ideas, highlight possible amendments and give you a wealth of anecdotal evidence to inform your brand’s new and improved strategy.
The Research-Branding marriage is a lifetime commitment. Research can, and will, continue to help assess potential risks and assist in making the important branding decisions. Remember, Market Research needs brands just as much as they need us! Consumer perceptions and expectations change, there’s no avoiding this. Keeping up with these changes and planning ahead can help maintain a brand’s value. Maintaining strong communication with your customers and clients reduces the chance of promoting the wrong image or sending the wrong message.
We should remember that Market Research and Branding are not two entirely separate entities, but instead, make up two halves of a whole. One of the biggest challenges for any company using MR for branding purposes, is to make sure both parties "get each other". A strong understanding of each other's role and a healthy respect for what they can bring to the party is the basis for creating synergy between the two. By this we mean that the researcher should know what questions to ask on behalf of the brand, at what stage to ask them and how to present the findings clearly. The branding team, likewise, should have a good understanding of the process and deliver a clear brief, describing what they need from the research and what it intends to do with the results. When the two work well together, the most useful and effective results will be produced.
How well do you know your brand?
Are you confident that you brand is reflecting your core beliefs and values? How well do you really know your consumers? Why not check out what Market Research can do for you today? Here at Face Facts, we understand the challenges facing brands today and we are confident in our ability to help you find the information you need.